This amateur horror could have been called a valiant foray into the movie business had it been made ten years earlier.
For friends and lifelong horror fans Glen Chung (producer), Chris Mikulas (writer & director) and Jay Sapiro (director), The Nursery is a passion project in which there’s plenty to be proud of.
For everyone else, it’s a cheap mishmash of inspiration from The Ring, Unfriended and Paranormal Activity.
Bizarrely, in their IndieGoGo pitch the directors claim that The Nursery takes the classic horror tropes of the 80s and 90s and puts a new, interesting twist on them. Bear that in mind as I walk you through the plot.
Ranae, Madeline Conway, is a student who prefers to earn a little extra cash than go out partying with her mates. It’s a normal Saturday night and Ranae is headed out of town to babysit for a family with a troubled past.
Before long, a quiet night snoozing on the couch listening to music gets weird when Ranae starts to have troubling dreams. She’s disturbed by things she sees and hears on the baby monitor and the strange pictures her friends are sending to her phone.
Worried about her safety, friends Calista, Ray and Grace come over to hang out until the baby’s parents get home. Ranae sees what she’s sure is a girl in the woods. The girl has wet jet black hair draped over her face and is dressed in a white gown.
The others start to see things too and, through a series of mishaps and video call conversations with Ranae’s reclusive brother, who spends late nights on online ghost forums, the group slowly start to piece together the details of the family’s tragedy.
That The Nursery is about a tot and an evil spirit isn’t even the most unimaginative thing about this film. It’s the collection of snippets from successful titles that makes it the borefest that it is.
There will always be an audience for this tedious recycling of ghost stories but with hotly anticipated movies like Hereditary and the well received A Quiet Place, films like The Nursery are only likely to be seen by the teams that make them.